space to think

the horror vacui

Criminals at Target

Last night I was out running the typical whole milk-bananas-manderin orange Target trip, and I think I stumbled across something sinister.  Well we do live in a semi ghetto so… shocker.  The gentlemen infront of me was buying a microwave.  You know the kind you buy in college.  Cheap but can take microwaving 10 quesadillas after midnight about twice a week.  (note:   I have never eaten 10 quesadillas in one setting).

Anyways, in addition to this microwave, the gentlemen purchased about 15 $25 gift cards.  AND then paid for his $400 something bill WITH a $400 gift card and then some cash.  Using a gift card to buy multiple gift cards??  Hmm.

A little background: Last fall the hubbs and I were both victims of what is called “skimming”.  Go ahead google it you know you want too.   Ironically this happened to us at different places but all within a months time.  The hubbs was a victim first.  He used his debit card at a gas station in Old Town and about 3 days later noticed a charge for a $250 from a Irish airline.  Lots of yelling.  Thankfully his bank refunded the money and he got a different debit card number. 

A few weeks later I used my debit card at a Bank of America ATM.  3 days later I noticed TWO $220 transactions from a grocery store I never frequent.  More yelling.  To clarify the hubbs and I werent yelling at each other.  We just talk loud when we’re pissed about anything.  :-)  And I did get my money back too eventually.

I went on the warpath and called the corporate headquarters of this grocery store and received faxed copies of the actual receipts fom the transaction(s).  The criminal bought gift cards with those $220 purchases. 

Apparently this is how it works, these criminals attach a simple device inside a credit card reader.  It’s the same device hotels use for room keys.  They obtain all your credit card information, sometimes even your pin number.  They somehow print a legit looking credit card, head to the nearest store and purchase a butt load of gift cards.  And as I saw last night, apparently keep purchasing gift cards with their gifts cards…and are untraceable. 

Did you just flush a little red with anger?  Yeah me too.  And I don’t care about the weird looks I get when I jiggle and shake all gas station credit card readers and ATMs.  I never want us to be a victim again.

In my spare time, I think I’m going to write congress about passing a bill that would make it illegal to purchase gift cards with a gift card.  Roar!

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One thought on “Criminals at Target

  1. It sounds like *someone* is missing their true calling as a PI ;-)

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space to think

the horror vacui

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